Parents and teachers often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school vision screening that the child does not have an eye problem.
In reality, the visual skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex. A child with 20/20 vision can still have a serious vision problem that will affect academic performance, but that same child will usually pass a vision screening.
School vision screenings or those done in pediatricians' offices only test visual acuity (sharpness or clarity). They generally do not test for things like ocular motility, depth perception, and focusing ability which are vital components of vision needed for successful learning.
It has been estimated that 1 in 4 children suffer from an undiagnosed vision problem that may interfere with learning and may often lead to behavioral problems. In fact, a recent study concluded that children with vision problems are 3x more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
The symptoms of ADHD and vision problems can be similar so it is important to rule out a vision issue before a child is diagnosed with ADHD.
Does your child struggle with one or more of the following?
Difficulty copying from a whiteboard or book
Rubs eyes during or after reading
Frowning, scowling, blinking excessively, or other facial distortions while reading
Excessive head turning or tilting while reading
Poor sitting posture while reading or writing
Vision therapy is physical therapy for the eyes and the brain. It is a drug-free, non-surgical, set of activities that aim to resolve symptoms that interfere with visual skills, motor abilities, and brain function.
While glasses or contacts work to improve your visual clarity, vision therapy helps our eyes work together as a team and helps our brain use the information received more effectively. Vision therapy can help resolve symptoms that you may not realize relate to the visual system.
Spatial orientation – If visual information is not processed properly symptoms may include writing up or downhill, being clumsy, bumping into walls, or knocking things over.
Binocular vision – To see single and clearly, both eyes must work together. Both eyes must point to the same place at the same time and maintain fusion. If they do not work together as a team you can experience double vision, words running together when reading, words swimming on the page, and many other symptoms.
Is vision therapy only for children? No, we work with adults and children experiencing vision-related issues including side effects from TBI or stroke.
How long does vision therapy take? We break our therapy up into 8-week stages, at the end of every 8 weeks, you will have a progress exam with Dr. Walley. Most routine cases take about 32 weeks but more complex cases can take longer. After your initial evaluation, Dr. Walley will schedule a conference with you to set goals and expectations.
What is the time commitment involved with vision therapy? In most cases, we recommend weekly in-office therapy sessions lasting from 30-60 minutes. You will also have 20 minutes of homework 4 days per week.